Merry, Merry Christmas friends! What a beautiful day! I am so excited it’s finally here… there’s nothing more that I love than this day of family, food (!!!) and reflection around the gift of salvation I’ve received through Jesus Christ and his love for me. I’m soaking it all in, and I hope that wherever you are, you’re doing the same!
Before taking a vacation from the blog until the new year, I thought today would be the perfect occasion to share the details of my recent trip to New York City! After falling in love with the Christmas magic we experienced in the city last year, my mama and I have been dreaming about returning all year.
As cliche as it might sound, there really is nothing quite like Christmastime in the city, and I’m so excited to share our trip with you today!
our view of Central Park from 1 Hotel Central Park
landing at Laguardia airport
checking into our room
heading out for lunch
bundled up with Starbucks in had for a rainy afternoon in the city
dinner before the show at Serafina Osteria
right before heading into Anastasia
my mama and I after seeing Anastasia
my favorite window at Bergdorf’s
a cold cab-ride when the weather got too chilly to walk
sadly we didn’t see hamiltonm but we visited the theater anyway!
heading in to see the rockettes
a chilly evening of Christmas shopiping
stepping into one of my favorite shoe stores, schutz
the dinner outfit I had planned before realizing it was in the teens
the Christmas tree at the Metropolitan
taking in a snowy sunrise from our hotel room
exploring central park in the snow
Where We Stayed
After a fabulous stay at the 1 Hotel last December, my mama and I have talked about returning all year long. We’ve fallen in love with this hip oasis in the middle of New York City. Once y9ou step through the front doors, you feel like you’re in a different world! Greenery, everywhere. It has a very organic/yoga feel to it, which definitely makes for a unique, relaxing and fun experience.
The location is incredible… one short block away from Central Park, and just around the corner from The Plaza and Bergdorf’s!
This year, we chose to opt for a view of Central Park and let me tell you… it was well worth it! One morning we woke up to snow falling on Central Park, which we could watch right from our window nook! We brewed cups of Nespresso (each room is outfitted with a Nespresso machine) and spent the morning soaking in the view.
Another thing we love about this hotel? Their candles! We literally packed an extra suitcase so we could bring back four… each. I have one burning right now. Truly the most heavenly thing I’ve ever smelled!
What We Ate
Over the years, my mother and I have found a few gems we return to time and time again. We always set out with the intention of trying new places, but can’t bear the thought of missing out on our tried-and-true favorites! Here are our three favorites we’d recommend to anyone!
For as long as we’ve been traveling to NYC, we’ve loved this spot for incredible, fresh Italian food. Their salads are unlike any I’ve ever had (try the Caesar and the Classica All’ Aceto Di Fichi) and we love their pizzas! There are a few locations throughout the city, but keep in mind that the menu isn’t the same at all. Our favorite is the Osteria, and we actually had dinner here twice during our trip!
My family and I were first introduced to La Relais on a trip to Paris, France a few years ago. We’ve been talking about it ever since! Needless to say, when my mother and I discovered there was a location in NYC, we were over the moon.
This restaurant does one thing only, it does it really well… steak-frites! Imagine French waitresses in traditional black dresses and aprons, delicious salad and non-stop steak and fries…. they keep bringing it until you’re full. We also love their deserts and highly recommend the profiteroles! This is such a fun, unique experience and transports us back to Paris!
We stumbled into this hip Thai restaurant during our last trip, and were so excited to return this year! It’s casual and incredibly well-priced for NYC standards with incredibly fresh and beautiful offerings! Keep in mind, they make their dishes “medium” spicy… which was way too hot for me. (And I don’t mind some spice!) I learned to order low spice and it was perfect.
What We Did
There are so many things to do in the city, but since this year’s trip fell on an incredibly cold week (we’re talking the low 20s), my mom and I tried to find as many indoor activities as possible. Here are our favorites!
I have been dying to see this production ever since I heard it was going to Broadway, and let me tell you… it didn’t disappoint! From songs to costumes to characters, I loved how true the production stayed to the movie. It was a magical experience, and I’d see it a second time in a heartbeat!
My mother and I decided to see Aladdin last minute, and walked away being so thrilled that we did! Let me tell you, I have never been so entertained in my life. This show had so many high-energy, sparkling, colorful and vibrant numbers that I ended up watched with my jaw on the floor. And let me just say.. the genie? Hilarious! This is a must-see, and I think children, adults, men and women alike would all enjoy it!
When I saw the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular last year, it truly brought tears to my eyes. I’ve never experienced anything that put me in the Christmas spirit quite like this production! If you make this a part of your trip, be sure you arrive and get in line an hour before the show starts. The security system takes a while to get through!
Ice Skating in Central Park
While the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink is definitely more popular, we had the best time visiting Wollman Rink! There’s something about walking through Central Park to get to it that is so picturesque, and we didn’t find it to be too crowded, either! (We timed it right after the afternoon Zamboni at 2:30.) Be sure you have cash on you – that’s all the accept for admission and skate rentals!
While the Met could easily be an all-day expedition, my mama and I loved popping in just to see the beautiful Christmas Tree! It’s absolutely breathtaking and not to be missed. How much you pay for admission is up to you!
Rockefeller Christmas Tree + Saks Light Show
No surprise here… the Rockefeller Christmas Tree is all it’s cracked up to be! We loved taking it in from different views and vantage points around the center. Saks Fifth Avenue is right next to it and puts on an incredible light show on the facade of the building. We loved watching it!
Well, there we have it friends! A wrapup of New York City at Christmastime. My mama and I absolutely love our tradition of seeing the city at Christmas, and hope we get to return next year!
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I wanted to let y’all know that I’ll be taking a break from blogging this week. I haven’t taken a true vacation all year, and am so looking forward to a week to truly unplug, reset and refresh after a busy and incredible 2017.
So while you won’t find any new posts here for the next few days, be sure to check back after New Years for lots of fun new content. I’ll miss y’all, and can’t wait to get back!
Love from Texas,